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Wonderland nightclub installs 1,000 SGM light sources

Ian McMurray 18 January 2013
Wonderland nightclub installs 1,000 SGM light sources

More than 1,000 LED light sources from SGM have brought the brand new 1,800-capacity Wonderland nightclub to life in Maidstone, UK — turning it into “a Madison Square Garden type atmosphere.”

From the moment clubbers walk up the escalators, edged with pixel-mapped LEDs, they are immersed in a surreal escapist world of SGM paper lanterns in the foyer and walkways. Turning into the ‘Tomorrow’ nightclub — the biggest of the three spaces, and designed like a rock ‘n’ roll arena — they pass flown arrays of eight SGM SP-6 Six Pack blinders and four banks of four SGM X-5 white strobes, which pulse onto the dancefloor, punctuating the beam action from 24 SGM Beam 300 moving heads.

The main focus of attention, however, is the largest SGM centrepiece ever produced — a massive overhang comprising 225 of SGM’s 1-metre length pixel tubes (LT-100), interspersed with 784 bright Led Pix pixel cubes (LP-700) on the ceiling between each row.

When the former Liquid was taken over by leisure group No Saints, general manager John Barnes wanted the former circular dome venue to be converted into a large square dancefloor — with a stage off to the side and VIP Room behind the DJ booth — so that boxing matches, fashion shows and live PAs could all be staged under the 3D pixel tube display, in which each pixel can be individually controlled and mapped.

“I just love the pixel ceiling,” said Barnes. “We have already staged boxing matches and the crowds are as in awe of this pixel canopy as they are of the fight itself. The boxers emerge from the LED lighting on the stage, shrouded in smoke and make their way to the ring — it’s straight out of ‘Rocky’.”

“As for club nights, I didn’t want to hold back; it’s been a long time since anything has created the same wow factor as this ceiling, with the SGM Led Pix flying along each row. These are our big guns — so we fire them as soon as the club gets going.”

“There is nowhere in Maidstone with a single club room as big as this,” he concluded, “so we wanted to create a festival type atmosphere — and SGM has helped us achieve this.”

Elsewhere, 330 SGM LED Domes (LD-5) have been deployed by installers Cosmic Electronics, 100 of them in the low-ceilinged VIP Room at the back and the remaining 230 in the paper lanterns. Project manager Mark Damon worked closely with Rob Kirby at LED Projects, SGM’s UK distributors (who co-designed the lighting), interior designer, Terri Naylor and architect Dan White of DSR Facilities Design.

LJ Rob Keates also agrees the reaction to the lighting from the crowds has been awesome. He operates different presets from a media server, making waveforms, spectrum analyser patterns and more with the LT-100.

“The plan is to present the SGM pixel ceiling as a featured lightshow. The strobes knock the socks off single linear tubes and the LED’s are individually controllable and have greater output than conventional strobes,” said Keates. “As for the Six Packs, they are a better alternative than [the equivalents] I have used previously; the colours are intense (particularly amber), they are lighter weight, and in terms of longevity they are a lot better.

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